The second exam culling in two years cuts the Onet national exam subjects from 11 to just four – maths, science, Thai language and English.
The Education Ministry has announced the subjects of social science, religion and culture will be dropped from the Onet exam for Prathom 6 and Mathayom 3 students starting early next year.
Students will sit the nationwide Onet standard test in maths, science, Thai language and English, said Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin.
Dropping the three subjects eases students’ burden so they don’t have to study too much for the exam, he said.
Even though social science, described as a core subject by Mr Teerakiat, is being excluded from the Onet, tests on the subject will continue in schools from Prathom 1 through to Mathayom 6.
The minister has instructed the Office of the Basic Education Commission, the education service area offices, and the provincial education offices to design methods to appraise students’ performance in social science that are fair and suit the contexts of each province. The subject should be taught with emphasis on citizens’ duties in a changing social environment so they can apply what they learn in real life, he said. No students should study the subject only for tests.
He said the Onet for Mathayom 6 students will continue to include social science, a compulsory subject in the direct university admission exam. Any change to the subject lineup of the university admission system requires approval from the Council of the University Presidents of Thailand and various agencies.
Mr Teerakiat said this is not the first time the Onet has discarded some subjects. Two years ago, the test removed physical science, health education, arts and occupational and technology studies.
“I want social science taught in classrooms to focus on the duties of citizens and moral decency. The agencies concerned must establish a standard assessment criteria to regularly gauge students’ performance on those issues,” he said.
By introducing a regular assessment, teachers will know if students have a correct understanding of moral conduct and good conscience.
Sampan Panpruek, director of the National Institute of Educational Testing Service, said the subject was dropped mainly since social science studies issues close to respective localities, so students should be tested locally.